A fever is an important part in the body’s natural defense against infection. Although a fever is not an illness, if it exceeds temperatures of 40ºC (104ºF), it can become very dangerous. If you’re concerned about a fever running too high, try some of these methods for bringing it down yourself at home.
How to Make Yourself Comfortable
Stay hydrated. Everyone knows the body’s natural response to heat is to sweat. In order to keep your body from sweating out all your fluids, stay hydrated. You’ll feel better and your fever will go down faster if you do.
- Drink a glass of any clear fluid, preferably water, hourly.
- Keep your electrolytes up as well by drinking a water or sports drink enhanced with minerals.
Cool down your room. If you still aren’t comfortable, try adjusting the temperature of your entire room. If it is cold outside, open a window (or several) to let in some fresh air. Turn down your thermostat and turn on a fan to help lower your body’s temperature.
Take a warm bath. If you’re burning with fever, your first instinct will likely be to jump in a cold bath or shower. However, doing so could make you even more sick. By dropping your temperature drastically, you cause the blood vessels in your body to constrict which keeps heat in your body. You will also begin to shiver, which generates more heat in the long run. Slip into a lukewarm or slightly warmed bath to slowly bring your temperature down.
- A bath may be preferable to a shower, as you may be weak as a result of your illness and need to sit or lie down in order to maintain strength.
- Try taking a sponge bath to save on time, water, and strength instead of a full immersion bath.Maybe even get someone to help you with it so that they can make it easier.
Sponge down. If a bath doesn’t sound too appealing, use a moist towel instead. Soak small towels in cool water and dab them over your body. Again, you will benefit from the further cooling by evaporation. Leave a cloth on your forehead to soothe any discomfort caused by the fever.
Undress a bit. Although your grandmother might have taught you to ‘sweat out’ your fever, piling on sweatshirts and blankets can actually be more dangerous. Rather than raising your temperature to unsafe highs, strip down to the bare minimum of clothing. Wear only your undergarments and a loose t-shirt, and cover up with a thin sheet or blanket if you get the chills.
Take some medication. Several popular over the counter medications work as fever reducers and pain killers. Bring your fever down by taking the proper dosage of acetaminophen or aspirin. Avoid these medications in children though, as they may lead to dangerous complications.
Starve it out. Nutrients in some foods can feed the bacteria that are causing your illness and the accompanying fever. So, it is best to starve out your sickness by fasting while you have the fever. On the other hand, the antioxidants packed into fruit seem to reduce fevers also. Therefore, fast while the fever persists or flood your body with the anti-oxidants found in most fruits. Both approaches have been shown to reduce the severity of a fever.
Sleep it off. Your body needs rest – it is, after all, fighting off harmful invading organisms. Help it in its battle by getting extra sleep and spending as much time lounging around as you can. If this means taking time off work or school, then so be it. Getting extra sleep and rest will bring your fever down quickly and naturally.
How to Cure a Fever with Home Remedies
Eat a popsicle. Being sick makes you ache for the days of your childhood when your mother was around to take care of you. Bring back some childhood memories by sucking on a popsicle like your mom might have given you. The cold temperature will help you cool down, while the juice will keep you hydrated.
Use garlic. Along with ginger, garlic is a kitchen item you should keep in stock for medical uses.
- Make a brew of garlic by cutting up a clove and adding it to a cup of hot water.
- Strain out the chunks after about 10 minutes, allow the broth to cool, and drink it slowly.
Make angelica root tea. Angelica root is a plant that has been used for decades in bringing down fevers. Use this natural remedy by boiling it in a cup of water to create a tea. Allow the tea to cool, add some honey for flavor, and sip it slowly.
Try pineapple. Fresh is best. It’s one of nature’s anti-inflammatory agents that can fight fever. Pineapple is also packed with juice that can prevent dehydration.
Make some apple water. One of the most tasty home remedies on the list, apple water is made from exactly what it sounds like: apples and water.
- Make your own by slicing 2-3 small apples and boiling them in three cups of water.
- Strain out the apple chunks and add a bit of honey.
- This draught can be drank multiple times throughout the day until the fever is brought down.
Try using willow bark. Willow bark is a natural remedy that has been put to use all over the world. In fact, aspirin is made from a willow bark compound. Try using willow bark extract according to the dosage instructions to bring your fever down.
Brew some ginger tea. Ginger is an all around go-to for minor ailments; its natural properties cure dozens of problems. Allow ginger to work away your fever by grating some into a cup of hot water. Allow the mixture to steep for several minutes, add a bit of honey to taste, and enjoy your fresh ginger tea.
Make raisin water. Although the name doesn’t sound so appetizing, think of it as grape juice. A raisin water solution has shown to be helpful in reducing fevers and keeping them down.
- Soak half a cup of raisins in water for several hours.
- Strain them from the water, and then crush them.
- The juice that is produced when the raisins are crushed can be consumed throughout the day.
Try oregano tea. That spice I add to pasta sauce? Yep, that’s it. Turns out, oregano actually works to lower a fever too.
- Make a tea of oregano by mixing 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon marjoram, and a pint of boiling water.
- Let the mixture steep before straining out the bits, and then let it cool.
- Drink it throughout the day until your temperature has dropped.
Stew up some lettuce. Lettuce broth works in several ways, primarily in keeping you hydrated and helping you sleep better.
- Chop a head of lettuce and pour a pot of water over it.
- Allow the mixture to soak for 15 minutes and then strain.
- Add honey to sweeten, let the mixture cool, then drink it periodically throughout the day.
Use cream of tartar. This powder in your baking ingredients has an additional use for ridding you of a fever.
- Mix 1½ tablespoon cream of tartar with ½ a tablespoon of lemon juice and 2½ cups of water.
- Add honey to taste, and drink the solution throughout the course of the day.
Make basil tea. Yet another pasta sauce ingredient, basil makes a flavorful fever reducer when brewed into a tea.
- Make your own by mixing 1 teaspoon of basil, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of honey, and a cup of hot water.
- Let the mixture steep for 5-10 minutes before straining out the chunks and drinking.
- If your fever is above 104 degrees or lasts more than 48 hours, visit a doctor for medical treatment.
- Do not take cold baths, only lukewarm.
- Do not exercise if you are suffering from a fever.
- Do not get close with other people intimately as it may cause them a fever as well.
- If you are normally physically active, your fever should not last more than a day.
- Remember that your fever is working to help kill off an infection in your body, so you don’t want to get rid of it completely. It is safe and reasonable to lower a fever, but not to completely rid yourself of it.